When a person suffers from syncope (fainting) on a regular basis, it could be the sign of an underlying heart condition. Faisal Siddiqi, MD is a board-certified cardiologist at One Oak Medical who specializes in discovering the underlying reasons behind why you’re fainting, and if it’s related to a heart problem. Dr. Siddiqi has convenient office locations in Paramus and Wayne, New Jersey and you can schedule a consultation online or by phone.
Syncope Q & A
What is syncope?
Syncope is the medical term for fainting or passing out. It’s a temporary loss of consciousness as a result of insufficient blood flow to your brain. It usually happens when your heart rate is too slow, or your blood pressure drops too low, and your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen.
Depending on the cause, syncope may be nothing to worry about, or it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition like a problem with your heart.
What causes syncope?
Common causes of passing out that aren’t usually life-threatening include:
- Sudden changes in physical position that prevent adequate blood flow
- Blood pooling in your legs
- Blood pressure medications
Another common cause of syncope is vasovagal syncope, which is a nervous system response that can happen in response to a trigger, such as seeing blood or a needle. Your heart rate slows, your blood vessels dilate, and your blood pressure drops, and it becomes difficult for your heart to pump your blood up to your brain. This temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain causes a fainting episode.
Sometimes the conditions that cause you to pass out are dangerous, including a fast heartbeat (tachycardia), or a slower-than-normal heart rate (bradycardia). These two conditions are arrhythmias, and the palpitations are caused when your heart rhythm is out of sync.
Additionally, if you have structural problems with your heart or its valves, that may lead to improper blood flow, and you can pass out.
How is syncope treated?
If syncope is occasional, you may not need any medical treatment. However, if there’s an underlying cause that’s related to your heart or another serious health condition, you may need medication or other treatment to correct the problem.
Dr. Siddiqi is an expert at conducting diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your syncope if it happens often. Depending on your test results from an exam, electrocardiogram, blood tests, and any other tests he deems necessary, he prescribes an individualized treatment plan based on your needs.
As with any condition that may involve your heart, it’s best to seek medical attention sooner rather than later. Call for an appointment or schedule one using the online booking feature.